Simple Router Tasks: Changing your WI-FI Channel
When you first got your shiny new router it was all set up for you to use straight away. But that doesn’t mean it was set up to your advantage.
In addition to the useful Router setup routines found elsewhere on this Knowledge Base, there are some more simple changes that can help you get the most from your router fairly easily. One is to change your WI-FI Channel
Most routers have their WI-FI Channel set to either the highest or lowest channel. However, in this modern day you may find that other things interfere with your signal, making it weaker or even non-existent in certain parts of the house. This is doubly true if you live in flats, where thin walls and other people with their own routers may interfere.
So how do you know which channel to use? Well, you can use a piece of software that examines all the WI-FI networks around you and then choose a different one. One piece of software I’ve used on PC (a Linux version is available too) is InSSIDer (http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/), which is easy to use and brings back a simple list of results. Once run, check the ‘Channel’ column to see what everyone else is using and choose the least used channel.
Changing your channel is fairly simple. All you need is the username and password to gain access to your router’s settings screens. To get to the screen you’ll need to know your router’s Default Gateway. This can be printed on the label at the bottom of the router or you can find it by going to the start menu, going to Accessories and then Command Prompt, then typing ipconfig.
Once you’ve found the address, just enter it in to your browser eg: http://192.168.1.5. The router will ask you for a username and password. This, again, might be on the label of your router but tends to be admin or administrator for both username and password.
Once in, you need to find the channel option, usually in the Wireless Settings or similar screen. It will show either a number or an Auto (DFS) setting. Change this to the number you choose above.
All you need to do now is reset and you’re done. You can change the channel again and again, testing the effects until you are happy with them.
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